Classic movie fans will see yet another iconic Hollywood star brought back into the spotlight when "The Last of Robin Hood" arrives in theaters on August 29, 2014. The picture focuses on the last days of swashbuckling star and notorious ladies' man Errol Flynn, with Oscar-winning actor Kevin Kline portraying the aging matinee idol. Dakota Fanning plays Flynn's teenage girlfriend, Beverly Aadland, and Susan Sarandon plays her mother, Florence. Flynn' real-life grandson, actor Sean Flynn, even has a role in the film, making "The Last of Robin Hood" an unusual sort of family affair.
Written and directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, "The Last of Robin Hood" follows in the wake of classic celebrity biopics like "My Week with Marilyn" (2011), "Saving Mr. Banks" (2013), and "Jersey Boys" (2014). Flynn's tabloid fodder love life, which dragged the actor into court on numerous occasions, and his own larger-than-life persona as a huge box office star, make ideal material for a modern screen treatment, with enough sex, liquor, and fame-fueled egos to fill a whole television series.
For devotees of Hollywood's golden age, part of the fun of these modern films is the chance to see a variety of familiar players resurrected as fictionalized characters. "The Last of Robin Hood" includes Hedda Hopper (Jackie Prucha), Gene Kelly (Starlin Britt), Orry Kelly (Bryan Batt), and Stanley Kubrick (Max Casella) as supporting characters. The big question, of course, is whether Kevin Kline can sufficiently fill Flynn's swashbuckling boots, even though the film depicts Flynn at the very end of his life.
With "The Last of Robin Hood" arriving in theaters in August, this summer is the perfect time to catch up with Errol Flynn's films and life story. Start with "The Adventures of Robin Hood" (1939) as an introduction to Flynn's heroic charisma, then move on to "Captain Blood" (1935), "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex" (1939), and "The Sea Hawk" (1940). Get Flynn's own take on his history in the 1959 autobiography, "My Wicked, Wicked Ways," or try other perspectives on the actor in "Hollywood's Hellfire Club: The Misadventures of John Barrymore, W.C. Fields, Errol Flynn, and the Bundy Drive Boys" (2007) or "The Baron of Mulholland: A Daughter Remembers Errol Flynn" (2006).